Senate panel invites Comey, former officials to briefing in Russia probe

Senate panel invites Comey, former officials to briefing in Russia probe
© Greg Nash

The Senate Intelligence Committee is expressing an interest in hearing from former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyMcCabe says ‘it’s possible’ Trump is a Russian asset McCabe: Trump ‘undermining the role of law enforcement’ Trump has publicly criticized Russia probe more than 1,100 times: NY Times MORE again as part of its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The committee announced in a notice issued Friday afternoon that it has invited Comey and three other former top intelligence officials to a closed-door hearing next week.

It is unclear whether Comey plans to attend the hearing, though former Director of National Intelligence James ClapperJames Robert ClapperIntelligence chiefs should be commended, despite Trump's attacks on them Hillicon Valley: House Intel panel will release Russia interviews | T-Mobile, Sprint step up merger push | DHS cyber office hosting webinars on China | Nest warns customers to shore up password security House Intel panel votes to release Russia interview transcripts to Mueller MORE, former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanOvernight Defense: Trump declares border emergency | .6B in military construction funds to be used for wall | Trump believes Obama would have started war with North Korea | Pentagon delivers aid for Venezuelan migrants Trump: I believe Obama would have gone to war with North Korea Intel agencies' threat assessment matters more than tiff with Trump MORE and former National Security Agency (NSA) Director Mike RogersMichael (Mike) Dennis RogersHillicon Valley: Kremlin seeks more control over Russian internet | Huawei CEO denies links to Chinese government | Facebook accused of exposing health data | Harris calls for paper ballots | Twitter updates ad rules ahead of EU election Kremlin seeks more control over internet in Russia Former GOP House Intel chair: McConnell eating 'manure sandwich' with Trump's national emergency MORE are all expected to attend.

The hearing, which is expected take place Wednesday morning, will delve into the intelligence community’s work compiling the 2017 assessment cataloging Russian interference in the election, according to the committee.

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Trump fired Comey last May, a move the president has indicated was at least partly motivated by the ongoing federal probe into Russia's election meddling. That investigation, which Comey led before his ouster, is now being spearheaded by special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE.

It has been nearly a year since Comey’s bombshell testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee during which he recounted his version of the circumstances leading up to his firing.

Comey told the committee in June that the president directed him to end the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who has since pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents and is cooperating in Mueller’s probe.

Trump has disputed Comey’s account.

More recently, Comey has attracted huge media attention for the release of his memoir that also focuses on his firing, sparking renewed criticism from the president and his allies.

The Senate panel has been investigating Russian interference since early 2017. Chairman Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrHarris on election security: 'Russia can't hack a piece of paper' Schiff: Evidence of collusion between Trump campaign, Russia 'pretty compelling' The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Lawmakers scramble as shutdown deadline nears MORE (R-N.C.) told reporters this week the committee plans to wrap up its investigation in August.

On Tuesday, the committee released the first portion of its unclassified report, detailing Moscow’s “unprecedented, coordinated cyber campaign” against digital U.S. voting infrastructure in the states leading up to the election.